The NFF Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony will be at Halas Hall (1920 Football Drive in Lake Forest). Thanks to a dollar-for-dollar match by the Chicago Bears and Bears Care, $24,000 in college scholarships will be provided. Details are provided below.
- Monday, February 17, 2014 (i.e., President's Day) from 3:30-6pm.
- Jeff Joniak (the play-by-play Voice of the Chicago Bears) is the Master of Ceremonies.
- The National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards will be provided to three Chicago area high school seniors that excel on the football field, in the classroom and in the community (Micah Coffey from Batavia High School, Collin Holte from St. Edward Central Catholic High School, Mike Mercado from Hiawatha High School). Scholarship recipients are nominated by their high school football coach each November.
- The Chicago Bears Community Champion Awards will be presented to three high school senior football players that have demonstrated excellence in their community and volunteer endeavors (Matthew Hughes from Cary-Grove High School, Sam Oriatti from Stevenson High School, Richard Schoen from Fenwick High School).
- Since 2006, $128,000 in college scholarships have been provided to Chicago area student-athletes. Each of the six student-athletes mentioned above will receive partial tuition scholarships. Nationally, more than $1 million in college scholarships are provided annually.
- Phillips Academy (featured by Sports Illustrated at www.si.com/underdogs in Episode 3) will be honored for their incredible efforts to turnaround the school and the football program in the last three years. Athletic Director John Byrne, Head Coach Troy McAllister and student-athlete Jamal Brown will speak at the event.
- Among the speakers and/or attendees at the event are Pro Football Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald, Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill, Illinois State Head Coach Brock Spack, Deloitte Tax Chairman and American Youth Football Hall of Famer Carl Allegretti, Coordinator of Officials Bill Carollo (from the Big Ten, MAC and Missouri Valley Conferences), 2014 BCS National Championship Referee John O'Neill, 2011 BCS National Championship Referee Bill LeMonnier, record-setting college QB's Dan Persa and Chandler Harnish, and more. Fitzgerald was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and Kill received the NFF Courage Award in 2010. Prior recipients of the NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award include Delany (2012), LeMonnier (2011) and Allegretti (2010). Carollo will receive the 2014 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award. Persa and Harnish received the NFF Mental Toughness Award in 2012.
- The NFF Courage Award will be presented to Lincoln-Way East running back Brian Casey, as presented by 2010 Courage Award recipient Nick Allegretti.
- The NFF Mental Toughness Award will be presented to local college football players including Illinois State University linebacker Pat Meehan, Northwestern University kicker Jeff Budzien, Northern Illinois University quarterback Jordan Lynch and University of Illinois tight end Jon Davis.
- Fred Mitchell will present the 2013 Fred Mitchell Award to West Texas A&M University kicker Sergio Castillo. This Award is presented to the top FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA or NJCAA place-kicker (750+ eligible kickers) based on performance on the football field and in the community.
- Former NFL/college football players will attend. Prior year attendees have included Chicago Bears President/CEO Ted Phillips, Chicago Bears ownership from the McCaskey family, Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy, Heisman Trophy winners Gary Beban (UCLA) and John Lattner (Notre Dame), Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald, North Carolina State Head Coach Dave Doeren, Illinois Head Coach Tim Beckman, Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill, Illinois State Head Coach Brock Spack, Saint Xavier Head Coach Mike Feminis, retired Purdue Head Coach Joe Tiller, College Football Hall of Famers (Jim Covert, Steve McMichael, Tom Beck, Chris Zorich, Chris Bisaillon, Leroy Keyes, Pat Fitzgerald), Pro Football Hall of Famers (Marv Levy, Richard Dent, Dave Casper, Ted Hendricks), John Mackey Award winner Tim Stratton, Kyle Orton, Jarrett Payton, Dave Revsine, Howard Griffith, Tom Zbikowski, Glen Kozlowski, Brian Baschnagel, Desmond Clark, Bobby Douglass, Gary Fencik, Bob Thomas, Dan Jiggetts, Emery Moorehead and more.
- The cost includes a 1 year NFF Membership valued at $40 for each paid attendee. Attendees that are already NFF Members will have their current membership extended by 1 year. Proceeds are used to provide college scholarships at this event, with a match provided by a generous contribution from Bears Care.
- Space is limited to 130 people on a first-to-register basis.
- Only registered attendees can attend the Awards Ceremony. Your name must be on the attendee list for Halas Hall security to enter Halas Hall. There are no paper tickets to this event.
- Business casual attire. Soft drinks and bottled water will be provided.